Updated: Sep 14, 2021
Carly Foglia is known for her nutritiously prepared meals on Instagram. Her expertise in nutrition comes from her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics and master's degree in Community Nutrition. But, that's not all. Today, she's currently an inspiring Registered Dietitian. Carly's interest in nutrition didn't happen overnight. Instead, she found herself in the field of nutrition after almost 16 years of obtaining an unhealthy relationship with food and her body. So, what's her story?
"When I was a junior in high school I weighed 405 pounds. I constantly binged, never exercised, never had any real regards for my health and well-being at all. That January I began weight watchers and there was actually when I began to realize how to “properly diet”, or so I was convinced."
Carly explains that she realized she had an eating disorder when she got further into the program.
"I would have approximately 800-900 calories a day, I would do cardio at the gym for two hours every night, I took laxatives and purged food, but on the outside, I thought everything was fine because I was being praised for my weight loss. It wasn't until I was in my freshman year of college at the University of the Arts that I enlisted help from a personal trainer."
Carly explains that her trainer taught her the proper techniques to lift, the correct way to calculate caloric necessities to fit her height, weight, activity level, and so on. She explains that her trainer realized how well she adapted to a healthier lifestyle around a year into training. He asked if she would consider going into a nutrition program at West Chester University.
"That next day I enrolled in WCU’s nutrition and dietetics program. I spent four years completing my bachelor's in Nutrition and Dietetics, a year in my Masters for community nutrition, and next week I will be completing my Dietetic Internship."
Carly has been advancing her title as a nutritionist by working towards becoming a licensed dietician. She's currently working in a dietetic internship. Carly mentions that she's been putting a lot of attention into medical nutrition therapy while in her clinical rotation. Carly explains her Internship, the significance of a registered dietician, and one thing she finds fascinating with nutrition.
I complete supervised practice hours in different rotations in the field for credit. After the internship, I have to pass a standardized exam. A Registered Dietitian can do way more than just nutritional advice. They are licensed to work in the hospital and clinicians, as foodservice directors, etc. One thing, in particular, I find interesting is how increased nutrition and protein needs are essential to healing wounds.
Carly's small business, Carly Foglia Nutrition Services LLC, consists of meals full of high protein, a moderate amount of carbohydrates, and numerous vegetables.All of the meals offered on her menu item derived from modified recipes from her favorite foods. She explains how her small business got started.
A bunch of people reached out jokingly to have me cook for them and one, in particular, encouraged me to start this business. And with the help of Instagram, it transformed into what it is today.
I asked Carly the following questions.
What is your biggest takeaway from starting your small business?
"It has given me more confidence than I could've ever imagined. My biggest takeaway however is that it is no joke to own a small business no matter how big or small. It is not just your business but your name and reputation that you have to constantly be looking out for."
What advice do you have for people who may be going through the same thing you did in high school?
Honestly, that in 10 years no one will remember what size you were but who you were. High school was four of my favorite years and I was my heaviest and most unhealthy. I do know it's a time that is very vulnerable for people, especially girls and I want to ensure that if you have weight loss goals to seek help with a professional. A lot of insurances will cover RD consults and gym memberships that you can sign up for.
Now that you are in a good place with your health and well-being, do you think it impacted your mental health as well?
Of course, there is a big connection to the gut and brain (you can use the clip I sent for the school interview) as well as the nutritional aspect. There is a big connection between mental health and physical activity. I, personally, went from someone who did not have the urge to get off the couch to running half marathons. It may sound cheesy but you only get one body, learn to love it, and live loving it.
Can you give any tips for someone starting a new healthy eating lifestyle to better their mental health? Where should they start?
Baby steps are much bigger than you think. Try adding something nutritious to your diet rather than taking something away. Fruits and vegetables are always the answer.
What are your ultimate goals for your program? Where do you hope to see yourself in five years?
In five years, I hope to have had a few years of clinical under my belt as well as my private practice. I hope that this business grows along with that. I hope to merge this business with my practice.
If someone is on the fence about whether or not they want to start meal plans, what would you tell them? What are the major benefits?
I’m all here for convenience, I am unbelievably busy and these meals can ensure a nutritious meal without any energy.
Carly explains that the buffalo chicken is the staple and most popular menu item she offers. Her personal favorite? Her turkey chili. Carly says that she's working on creating a website for her small business sometime soon. But, for now, her Instagram page is where you can find her current menu items every week.
So, how do you go about purchasing her meal plans? Carly explains that people can reach out to her before Thursday of the prior week, and you both will set up a pick-up or drop-off time for that Sunday.